It’s always exciting to see a set of wheels get everyone so worked up.
Usually when a barn car find goes for far beyond what experts have predicted at auction, it’s something truly exotic or rare. At first glance you might not think this toy Austin Junior A40 fits the profile, but it recently sold at auction for over four times what toy experts estimated. The 1950s toy was discovered hidden away in a shed in the UK, but there are some good reasons why people were willing to pay so much to have it.
At first glance, the little Austin isn’t much to look at, but that’s common with classics stashed away and forgotten. There’s a thick patina on the red paint, plus rust has claimed large portions of the fenders, side panels, grille, bumpers, wheels, and more. The trunk and hood do open and the steering wheel is a attached to a rack, so the front wheels turn.
Toy experts thought the car would sell for about 600 to 800 pounds, or about $750 to $1,000 USD. Then a bidding war ignited when the toy crossed the auction block and the price soared to 3,400 pounds or $4,300 USD, shocking many. After all, the single-seater hadn’t been restored in the least and would need some serious work to be returned to its original glory.
It appears the unique backstory for this Austin is what fueled the rapid price escalation. Apparently, it was constructed in South Wales by disabled coal miners, who used scrap metal from the Austin factory. That means the sheet metal is exactly what you find on an actual Austin car from the 1950s.
With such a high price tag, you would think the winner has plans to proudly display the car in a glass case after having it fully restored, or maybe even donating it to a museum. Reportedly, the unnamed winner has plans to give it to his grandchildren, perhaps to help them appreciate classic automobiles.
Source and photo credit: Fox News